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Thread: Stuck in SAFE Mode

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    55

    Stuck in SAFE Mode

    Somehow I have found myself in Safe mode with no way back to normal mode. Whenever I try to reboot in normal, my computer shuts off. I have tried to restore my system to an early date, but this results in a failure. I am interested in saving a couple WORD and EXCEL documents off my computer and then either (a) scrapping my computer, (b) restoring it to factory conditions, (c) just returning to normal mode.

    The A: drive hasn't worked for some time, and I can't get to normal mode so I can just upload the files to a directory.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,684

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    As a guess, during the POST part of your Bootup, press and hold down the F8 key. If you see the Windows splash screen then you missed your window of opportunity and will have to retry.

    If you get it at the right time, then you will see a Boot menu, and you should be able to choose Normal as one of your options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,270

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    The problem might be with your boot.ini file. The file's content should normally look something like this:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOW S
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

    Since you say you're new to Windows XP I suppose you didn't go around modifing any of the values it contains. So the content of the file should look just like the one above. However if it does not look like listed above it might have the following option just after the /fastdetect parameter at the end of the file:

    /safeboot:minimal

    This option forces your computer into going into Safe Mode and since you have only one operating system installed (at least that's what I suppose), the timeout=30 option on the second line of the file is not taken into account.

    So, if there is a /safeboot:minimal option in your file just remove it and your problems should be solved. If you're not sure what to remove from the file or the file does not correspond to any of the descriptions I gave above, post the content of the file here so I can have a look over it.
    Hope this helps.


    PS: You can find the boot.ini file on the drive where you Windows XP is installed (most likely the C:\ drive). Just make sure you select 'Show hidden files and folders' from the 'Folder options' because the file is hidden and you cannot see it otherwise.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,526

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    Have you tried VGA mode? This mode gives you more of the drivers but only with basic video. You may be able to get back into Windows this way. Try the F5 key if instead of the F8 key if you do not get the option upon booting.

    But, since this is clearly a boot issue, you can boot to the XP install disk, go into the repair console and, at a prompt, type in fixboot, it will do its thing, then type in fixmbr and it too will do its thing. Then try to reboot and see what you get.

    If you have issue with the command string just type in help and you will get a list of available commands.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,297

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    You will need access to a 2nd computer with either a floppy drive or a CDROM writer. This solution worked for me, but no guarantees.

    (This is what worked for me, assumes you know a little about DOS commands)
    1. Boot your computer (with either Floppy or CDROM) using a program called NTFS4DOS

    2. NTFS4DOS will mount the c:\ drive that contains boot.ini

    3. You will have to edit this file to remove the "/safeboot:minimal" from the boot.ini file

    4. The trick is that the EDIT command for DOS does not come with NTFS4DOS

    5. So you have to find it. In my case, the edit command was in c:\windows\system32

    6. The exact command I used to edit was --> c:\windows\system32\edit c:\boot.ini

    7. The DOS edit command is a simple editor. Use the ALT key to get to the menus

    8. In edit, remove "/safeboot:minimal" from the last line, keep everything else the same

    9. Save the file and then exit (I think turning off computer is also OK)

    10. Then reboot



    Some details on the NTFS4DOS program:
    • This is completely free and you can find it by google
    • I found my copy from freewarefiles.com/program_9_90_11100.html
    • NTFS4DOS must be converted to a bootable floppy or CDROM
    • The NTFS4DOS program will create a floppy for you, I needed a CDROM
    • Fortunately my 2nd laptop had a floppy drive and a writable CDROM
    • So I created a bootable floppy, then ran NTFS4DOS to create a bootable floppy
    • Then using my CDROM software to create a bootable CDROM from the bootable floppy
    • If you dont have a floppy drive, try getting to NTFS4DOS via ultimatebootcd.com
    • You can also burn the NTFS4DOS image from the image/ dir from the ultimate boot cd.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    55

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    I fixed it !!!

    Well, using the Window XP CD disk, you open the recorver console, and use fixboot to add a new option to your boot list. Then restart your computer. You will be able to choose between the 2 option (the one you added, and Window XP which is safe mode). Using the one you added, now you cant start normally. I'm finding a way to delete one of the option since I can start normal now. If I found one, I'll tell you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    3,388

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    Once I was stuck with this problem and this was the solution for me -

    In safe mode,
    START -> RUN, type 'msconfig' <enter>

    On the first screen, choose SELECTIVE STARTUP radio button, then UNCHECK every box below it.

    Reboot...now Windows will start in normal mode.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    ok so i'm stuck in safemode with no other options, its stuck in the vga mode and actually has 2 options and both are the vga mode..really sucks and I can't even use the safemode to do anything..I get an error that will not let me access safemode..also I tried reloading win xp and I got this on the bsod..setup cannot set the required win xp configuration info This indicates an internal setup error...contact system admin..well this sucks because I am the admin...I have tried almost everything ..done the chkdsk...and chkdsk /p /r" says it fixed errors..but still am stuck in vga mode with no other options...HELP!!!!! totally frustrated been working on this for 3 days now..i don't want to format hd i have all my daughters pics on it..these are irreplaceable treasures...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    also I cant use edit command or sys, or bak...or the ntfs4dos..its really being a pain..p.i.t.a. cant even use configsys..wtf

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4

    sad Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    hey all I found a fix..this what I did....went into rc typed help BOOTCFG
    it put up a list of commands, so I did the BOOTCFG /REBUILD..then typed in my path..then it asks for os loader which is your operating system...it asks 2 to 3 times or depending on how many hds you have installed..but I did it and now I have all my options back...but now the problem i'm getting is that my admin password will not let me in to win xp..so any ideas??

  11. #11
    Dr. V Guest

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    Go to start --> run --> type "msconfig" and hit enter. Go to the boot.ini tab, make sure /SAFEBOOT is unchecked.Here's what I did, Click 'Start' / 'Run' / type in 'msconfig'. Mine was in 'Selective Start Up' and I have moved it to 'Normal Startup'. This forced reboot and system came up with the appearance of normality.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,526

    Re: Stuck in SAFE Mode

    If you are not actually in safe mode, try going to Display Settings and resetting your resolution and color depth. Also, if you are running windows xp, try turning back the clock by using the built-in System Restore function.

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